November 3, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins head coach Randy Edsall prior to the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

How Many Wins Can Maryland Football Get To Next Year: Weeks 1-4

2013 Maryland Terrapins Schedule
Date Opponent / Event Location Time / Result
08/31/13 vs. Florida International College Park, Md. TBA
09/07/13 vs. Old Dominion College Park, Md. TBA
09/14/13 at Connecticut East Hartford, Conn. TBA
09/21/13 vs. West Virginia Baltimore, Md. (M&T Bank Stadium) TBA
10/05/13 at Florida State * Tallahassee, Fla. TBA
10/12/13 vs. Virginia * College Park, Md. TBA
10/19/13 at Wake Forest * Winston-Salem, N.C. TBA
10/26/13 vs. Clemson * College Park, Md. TBA
11/09/13 vs. Syracuse * College Park, Md. TBA
11/16/13 at Virginia Tech * Blacksburg, Va. TBA
11/23/13 vs. Boston College * College Park, Md. TBA
11/30/13 at North Carolina State * Raleigh, N.C. TBA

It’s that time of year where we get to have fun prognosticating on the things that matter most to us but don’t happen for another few months, like Maryland football. How many games will they win this year? How many will they lose? Will we finally go freaking bowling for the first time of the Edsall era? Can we finally right the ship?

After mustering up only six measly wins over the past two seasons, the Edsall regime has one last shot at the ACC crown before beginning yet another new era in the Big Ten. With a healthy C.J. Brown likely to start at quarterback (heck a healthy anyone to start at quarterback), the Terrapins are poised to be a much better team than last year. Being able to score more than 14 points a game feels foreign to even say considering how last year went, but it’s safe to say the offense will be better than that.

The defense lost some key contributors in Kenny Tate, A.J. Francis, Darin Drakeford, Joe Vellano, and Demetrius Hartsfield, forcing them to make up a lot of ground. Still, if there’s one thing that the Terrapins typically do somewhat effectively, it’s play sound defense. Maryland is notorious for being a plug-and-play school, and our coaching staff is good enough that they can make the most of the talent they have at every position.

Still, you play the schedule you’re given. Has it been kind to the Terrapins this year? I’d think yes.

Week One: Florida International (3-9 in 2012) at Maryland

The Florida International Golden Panthers went 3-9 last year, so logically this is viewed as a “primer” game for the Terrapins (sort of like that William & Mary game last season, when Perry Hills was the starter….) Most teams can look at this as a pushover game, but doing that for the Terps usually means upset city. Still, I don’t think there’s any way Maryland loses this rematch game of 2010’s 42-28 victory, back when Danny O’Brien and Do’rell Scott had the reigns.

Florida International is terrible, and almost always at the bottom rung of the Sun Belt. Expect a W.

Week 2 Old Dominion (11-2 in 2012) at Maryland

File this one under “Games the Terps Should Avoid Every Year.” Time and again Maryland schedules pre-conference play opponents that are going to give them serious work. Maryland needs to play the easiest schedule possible before heading into ACC play, but they’re not doing that with ODU coming to town.

For those of you that don’t know, ODU is a two-loss CAA outfit that knows how to put points on the board in a variety of ways. They actually just left the CAA for C-USA, but expect them to fit right in in a conference bereft of defense. ODU is going to be anything but a joke, and Maryland has a chance to lose this game. Last year, whereas Maryland scored seven points against William & Mary, ODU dropped 38 on them.

In fairness, they don’t play anyone tough so their standings aren’t indicative of actual talent, but rest assured these guys will be tough. Still, the experience factor is going to come into play here, and the Terrapins will win.

Week 3: Maryland at Connecticut (5-7 in 2012)

The Edsall Bowl Part II happens in week three, except the venue has switched from College Park to Rentschler Field. This game is probably going to be just as intense as the first one, if not moreso. I distinctly remember College Park being littered with Connecticut fans when the Terrapins played them at home, so I can only imagine the stadium will be packed when the Terps roll into town.

Still, not to be Optimistic Oscar or anything, but I don’t think there’s any way Maryland loses this game. The Terps lost by three points last year after mustering up only 205 total yards of offense (Perry Hills accounted for half of that through the air). That Connecticut team isn’t any better than the five-win squad they had last year, but the Terps are definitely going to be better. Their quarterback, Chandler Whitmer (who finished with 9 touchdowns to 16 interceptions last year), doesn’t scare me in the slightest. Without solid QB play, their speedster running back Lyle McCombs isn’t going to be able to get going and it’ll make Maryland’s life a lot easier.

I think the Terps get a win here, and while it’ll be gritty, it’s still going to be a W.

Week 4: West Virginia at Maryland

The Battle at M&T Bank, one of the oldest rivalries the Terrapins have to their name, whatever you want to call it, this one is big. If we’re going off my previous three win prediction, this would be a huge fourth victory against a bitter rival in West Virginia that the Terps haven’t beaten in awhile. The good news is that West Virginia is depleted offensively after losing QB1 in Geno Hayes, and WR 1, 2, and 3 in Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, and J.D. Woods. Those are some massive losses to have to make up for, and one that I have a feeling they won’t recover from.

If the Terps can’t beat West Virginia now, then I fear that it may never happen. The stars are aligning pretty well to come out with a victory here, provided the Terps offense is as explosive as we expect. West Virginia gave up 38 points per game last year, and even last year the Terps gave them a scare. I don’t think it’s farfetched to assume that Randy Edsall might give the Terps their first win in almost a decade against West Virginia (the last one coming in the 2004 Gator Bowl.)

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Week’s 5-8 coming up next…

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Tags: Maryland Football Maryland Terrapins Randy Edsall Terps

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